Septic Arthritis (Infectious Arthritis)
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Catherine Burt Driver, MD
Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.
- Septic arthritis (infectious arthritis) facts
- What is septic arthritis?
- What microbes cause septic arthritis?
- Is septic arthritis contagious?
- Who is at risk of developing septic arthritis?
- What are symptoms and signs of septic arthritis?
- Which health care professionals specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of septic arthritis?
- How do health care professionals make a diagnosis of septic arthritis?
- What is the treatment for septic arthritis?
- Are there home remedies for septic arthritis?
- What are complications of septic arthritis?
- What is the prognosis of septic arthritis?
- Is it possible to prevent septic arthritis?
Septic arthritis (infectious arthritis) facts
- Septic arthritis is infection of one or more joints by microorganisms.
- Septic arthritis can be caused by bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
- Risks for the development of septic arthritis include a patient taking immune-suppression medicines, intravenous drug abuse, past joint disease, injury or surgery, and underlying medical illnesses, including diabetes, alcoholism, sickle cell disease, rheumatic diseases, and immune deficiency disorders.
- With septic arthritis, patients may experience symptoms and signs that include
- chills, as well as
- joint pain,
- stiffness, and
- By identifying infected joint fluid, doctors may make a diagnosis of this type of arthritis.
- Septic arthritis treatment requires a patient to take antibiotics and a health care professional to drain the infected joint fluid from the joint.
What is septic arthritis?
Septic, or infectious, arthritis is infection of one or more joints by microorganisms. Normally, the joint is lubricated with a small amount of fluid that is referred to as synovial fluid or joint fluid. The normal joint fluid is sterile and, if removed and cultured in the laboratory, no microbes will be detected. With this form of arthritis, microbes are identifiable in an affected joint's fluid.
Most commonly, infectious arthritis affects a single joint, but occasionally more joints are involved. The joints affected vary somewhat depending on the microbe causing the infection and the predisposing risk factors of the patient affected. Septic arthritis is also called infectious arthritis.
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